Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Raising Some Awareness

Recently, I was contacted by Melanie Bowen from Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. I would like to start by saying that I do NOT normally agree to guest bloggers on my blog. However, upon reading Melanie's purpose, I decided that this topic is not only relevant to my blog but also something that needs to be brought to light. Melanie wanted to write about how blogging/journalling your illness can help you cope with and hopefully help you defeat disease.

And let me tell you, this hit close to home. My friend Katie Renz wrote about her battle with cancer and I know it was a relief to her to talk about it and an inspiration to others to read. So, for you Katie, I wanted to allow this blog post. I want others to follow in your footsteps. I love you and miss you, everyday!

Here is the guest post from Melanie:

Use Journaling to Beat Back Disease

We all have dreams, desires and goals that drive us through our lives. Some of us have the luck of accomplishing these goals quickly and easily. Some of us do not. Many people get diseases that seriously affect the quality of their life. Mesothelioma, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many other diseases often come with a grim prognosis. People suffering from these dreams may feel as if their dreams are slipping away from them.

This doesn't have to be the case. Retake your life and your dreams by starting a journal. Many may think writing a journal is passé or cliché; however, journaling can serve as a powerful focusing tool that can turn your dreams and hopes into something approaching or even breaching reality. All you have to do is take the time to start.

Start by writing about your hopes, dreams and desires and then catalog the ways you want to achieve these goals. This second step is important because it can help make your dreams a reality. Break them down into simple, easy to achieve steps that can be done one at a time in an easily manageable manner. Write about your progress on each step in order to keep your mind strong and focused.

As you write your journal, start branching out into writing about other areas of your life. Don't ever write just about your disease and its treatment. You run the risk of defining yourself by your disease and playing the victim. This is an unhealthy attitude for a variety of reasons.

Try to create a bucket list of things you want to accomplish in your life. A bucket list should be wild and include a lot of things you would never have done otherwise, such as traveling to Europe or skydiving. A bucket list can keep you focused on achieving these wild goals in a way that distances you from your disease and brings joy back to your life. It can help make you feel whole again. Starting small leads to much larger accomplishments. Inspire and uplift yourself to do the things you want to do.

Keeping a journal can also have real, tangible health benefits. According to Dr. James Pennebaker at the University of Texas, keeping a journal helps decrease the amount of stressors in your body, decreasing your stress and reducing the effect of these chemicals. Journaling has been found to actually decrease the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis in several different medical studies. Journaling is such an easy thing to start. You can pick up a pad of paper and just start writing every day, keeping track of all your goals. A blog is another way to journal that keeps other people in your life following your daily progress and cheering you on.

For more support or to read posts from others with illness, please visit: Mesothelioma Cancer Blog

1 comment:

True :) said...

Sweet Katie's blogging was indeed a beautiful tribute to the fight she fraught tooth and nail, with so much strength and grace. :)

True :D